A book is of more value than the house of a master-builder or a tomb in the western desert... Is there anyone around today like Hor-dedef? Is there anyone else like Imhotep? ... Those wise men who foretold the future. ... They might be gone and their names fade from memory - except that their writings keep them remembered.
To a hermetic mage books are not just knowledge, they are sources of revelation and power.

The Book of Thoth

The Book of Thoth is the single most powerful tome ever written, easily surpassing all others. It is said to be an ancient papyrus roll written by the great god himself. The book is one of the most powerful tomes ever written, revealing some of them profound secrets and true names of ancient Egyptian magick, including the ritual to consecrate a pyramid to tie it into the Tapestry.

According to one story Imhotep first became enlightened when he read it. It was at first hidden in a lead box on the bottom of the Nile, protected by snakes, scorpions and crocodiles, but later it was hidden in a secret room in the Temple of Hermopolis (likely by Imhotep). According to the myth, it was found again by king Khufu, who used it to build his pyramid. His descendant Khafre hid it in its original box beneath the Sphinx. It is believed to have been read by Hermes Trismegistros, but he hid it again somewhere. The Architects of Divine Measure found it, learned from it but didn't dare to use its full potential and hid it again. It might be in the Library of Alexandria, but the High Librarians refuse to comment.

Today the Book is the archetypal great secret everybody seeks; there have been several well-funded and prestigious expeditions into Egypt just to discover its whereabouts; it is the holy grail for many members of the Order of Hermes (not to mention the Batini, who officially deride the book-seekers as "bookworms" while themselves looking for it).

Availability: one unknown copy. Possibly some excerpts are known to the Architects.

De Pyramidis et Secretum Aegyptorum (Vol. I-V)

This is the seminal work in the Order of Hermes about pyramidology, written in the twenties by Jonathan Hartwright- Carter of the Library of Alexandria.

Hartwright-Carter spent most of his life working in Egypt gathering this information, making numerous expeditions up the Nile and seeking cooperation with the Batini. The result is a somewhat confusing but very complete study, including much Egyptian folklore, old legends about strange events around the pyramids and accounts of umbral expeditions. It contains elaborate drawings and maps of the pyramids and temples, gathered observations about their occult powers and hermetic theories about how they work and their purposes. It was published on his deathbed, and to the last he sought to make additions and improvements.

The book contains many important discoveries and rotes. It describes how to use the pyramids to reach the Tuat (and through the Tuat presumably the Land of Reeds of the Dead and the lands of the gods), although Hartwright-Carter never dared to leave the vicinity of the pyramids in his explorations of the netherworld. It is surprisingly simple to use the pyramids in this way: one just has to enter them normally, and then go into the Umbra. There one must follow a prescribed path through the umbral chambers, giving various guardians passwords from the Book of the Dead, leaving through the spiritual gates of the North and South and finally invoking Anubis for guidance and support.

Availability: Fairly common in the Order of Hermes. The book can be found both in the library of the Luxor Club, the Great Library and St. Vincent Manor.

The Book of the Dead

This book is the ultimate survival guide in the Tuat, and without it the traveller will surely get lost and perish. It should be noted that there exist many incorrect translations, and in the underworld there are myriads of restless dead who seek a personal copy, no matter what they have to do. Judging which compilation which is true is a very hard problem.

Availability: Very common, but most versions are incorrect.

De Vermis Mysteriis by Ludvig Prinn

This ancient and infamous tome contains many important observations about magick, the umbrae, spirits and medieval Arabian magick. According to legend it was penned in prison as the author awaited execution in 1542, having been charged with sorcery by the Inquisition. Somehow he smuggled out the book past the guards, and it was later copied by other mages. It is known to be both dangerous and confusing, since it contains just about everything jumbled together: geographical observations, rotes, hedge magic, history, various myths, descriptions of spirits and rituals and several bizarre hermetic theories.

The final chapter, "Saracenic rituals", contains what the author claims he learned from Arabic wizards during his captivity in Syria and travels to Alexandria during the crusades (he claimed to be several hundred years old). It contains detailed descriptions of the summoning and binding of the efreet and djinn, information about the priesthoods of Sobek and Bast, mentions the Cult of Nun and the worm-wizards of Irem and some of the secret history of Egypt.

Availability: Very rare. The Library of Alexandria is likely to have a copy, but it is not shown to visitors.

The Scroll of Djadja-em-ankh

An ancient papyrus containing the spells of Djadja-em-ankh, court magician of king Sneferu (the father of king Khufu the pyramid builder; some of the mage-priests achievements are listed in the Berlin papyrus). One is especially famous, it allows the magician to divide water - it will divide the water into walls so that anybody can walk dry-shod across the former bottom, and when the spell is concluded the water will move back. The similarities to Moses dividing the Red Sea are striking. Other spells deal with mummification, preventing accidents and divining the future. Most are simple utility spells, while some are fairly unique.

Availability: Rare. One copy is owned by the Luxor Club.

The Book of Am-Duat

This book describes the Tuat and its denizens. It states that it contains "Knowledge of the power of those in the underworld. Knowledge of their actions - knowing the sacred rituals for Re, knowing the hidden dynamism, knowing the hours and gods, knowing the gates and paths where the great god passes, knowing the powerful and destroyed". While several complete versions are known among sleeper researchers, the true meaning of the often obscure symbolism is very hard to understand without extensive hermetic and egyptologic knowledge or a magickal concordance.

Availability: The book itself is available among sleepers, but the full concordance is uncommon even among the Order of Hermes.

Book of the Divine Cow

Another ancient Egyptian spellbok, aimed at protecting the body of the sovereign and help his rebirth and ascension to the sun-boat in the heavens. The book also details the myth of the cataclysm when Re almost destroyed mankind, but finally relented and helped prevent the goddess Sekhmet from destroying all humans; Re then retired from Egypt leaving Thoth as the overseer of humanity.

Availability: Several partial versions are known to sleeper scholars, but the Library of Alexandria and the Luxor Club have complete copies which might be invaluable for mages attempting the full mummification ritual.

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